Mae West

Mae West
Los Angeles Times


Mae West
Film: East side of the 1500 block of Vine Street
Born Aug. 17, 1893 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Died Nov. 22, 1980 in Hollywood, CA

Mae West was a legendary actress who taught Americans to smile about sex.

She was an original: the ultimate bosomy, blond sex symbol whose style — a silken walk, suggestive less of sex than of the meshing of superbly machined parts — was often imitated but never equaled.

Paramount Pictures, then teetering on the brink of insolvency, offered her $5,000 a week to start her film career in "Night After Night" (1932) with George Raft.

Her total list of film credits was an even dozen, a remarkably small number. No one else had ever established so secure a place in film history on the basis of so few roles, but then no other woman had become a sex symbol after making her screen debut at 39, either.

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